Former Cobblers winger Alfie Potter has spoken of his frustration at Sixfields in the first half of the season, and admitted he ‘couldn’t wait for the January window’ so he could leave the club and start playing football again.
The midfielder left the Cobblers on transfer deadline day on Tuesday to sign for Mansfield Town, and was quick to speak out about how he felt he wasn’t given a fair oportunity by Rob Page, who was sacked at the beginning of January and replaced by Justin Edinburgh.
There’s been times when I’ve been given a chance and I’ve taken it, and still not remained in the side. It’s one of those things. Managers bring in their own players and their own ideas and sometimes your face doesn’t fitFormer Cobblers midfielder Alfie Potter
Potter, who was signed in the summer of 2015 by Chris Wilder, claimed his ‘face didn’t fit’ at Sixfields under the Welshman, and that even when he did get a chance in the first team, and took it, he would soon find himself sidelined again.
The final straw for Potter may well have been following his strong performance in starting the 1-0 Boxing Day win at Oxford United - only to find himself back on the bench for the trip to Sheffield United a few days later.
“There’s nothing better than feeling wanted, and this was an easy decision to make,” said Potter, who met with Edinburgh last week and asked if he could leave the club, with the new Town boss agreeing.
“The new manager came in at Northampton and obviously brought his own ideas with him and I’ve had to be patient and wait for a chance there,” .
“There’s been times when I’ve been given a chance and I’ve taken it, and still not remained in the side. It’s one of those things.
“Managers bring in their own players and their own ideas and sometimes your face doesn’t fit.
“So I couldn’t wait for the January window so I could go out and get some minutes, and as soon as I heard Mansfield were interested, I always knew I was coming here.
“It’s always been a tough place. I don’t actually know if I’ve won here before. I’d much rather be playing for the home side than the away side here.
“It’s been a while since I had a consistent run of games and I know when I do get a run of games, I know the level I can get back to.”
Potter suffered a series of niggling injuries while at the Cobblers which also contributed to him making just 21 starts for the club in 18 months, but he did play a key role in last season’s Sky Bet League Two title triumph.
The 28-year-old joins another Town title winner in Joel Byrom at Field Mill, as well as another former Cobblers team-mate in Lee Collins, and he feels good times could be around the corner for the Stags under ambitious manager Steve Evans.
“Last year when we got promoted at Northampton, we had an unbelievable team spirit and all the boys were together pulling in the same direction,” Potter told the Mansfield Chad. “Having spoken to a few of the boys here already, it’s the same here.
“Obviously the manager knows this level and knows what’s required so he’s putting a squad together that can implement the way he wants to play and like he’s shown before, I’m sure he will bring success to this club.”
“Steve Evans’ record speaks for itself at previous clubs anyway and you can see the results here since he took over. This is going to be a club moving forward now and he’s shown a real interest in wanting me.
“He was the one that showed the most interest in me really. I spoke to other clubs but for me, football-wise, this was the easiest decision.”
“I am pleased to get it all sorted and I can’t wait to get started now – it’s been a while since I played a bit of football.”